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Emily Blunt’s Unwavering Maternal Force in “A Quiet Place”

Emily Blunt (Looper, Edge of TomorrowSicario) takes on the role of a post-apocalyptic wife and mother, in Paramount Pictures’ new horror thriller A Quiet Place (now playing in Philippine cinemas).

In the modern horror thriller A Quiet Place, a family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival. If they hear you, they hunt you.

Early on, director and screenwriter John Krasinski gave his wife Emily Blunt——his draft of the script for A Quiet Place. As soon as she read it, she suggested they play the roles of Lee and Evelyn Abbott together, adding a layer of stark realism and candid tenderness that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

“What I fell in love with in the screenplay is that I felt it touched on some of my deepest fears as a mother of not being able to protect your children. The stakes are so sky-high in this story I was racing to read to the end,” recalls Blunt. “Ironically, before I read the script, I had suggested to John that a friend of mine might be right for the role of Evelyn. But as I read, I thought, ‘never mind that, I need to play this role.’ I just loved the depth and beauty of the story, which goes beyond the horror movie atmosphere. And John and I had never worked together so that was exciting.”

Once it was agreed that Blunt would play Evelyn, she and Krasinski couldn’t stop talking about the Abbott family—about who Lee and Evelyn were before everything changed and how the catastrophic times they are facing has changed them.

“It’s a very weighty world but they try to stay focused on raising their family,” emphasizes Blunt. “They are constantly afraid. And they’re also a family dealing with a lot of grief and guilt. What I find fascinating is that there’s such an urgent need for them to communicate, yet communicating is so hard in a world where sound is danger.”

Blunt also wanted to explore Everlyn as a kind of unwavering maternal force. “I see her as just spectacularly loving and nurturing,” Blunt describes. “She has this drive to make sure she still raises good children. So she perseveres with school lessons, with making jokes with her kids in any way she can, with loving them and holding them, sometimes just drinking them in, yet wanting them also to have the room to become who they are.”

From the start, the screenwriters had inserted a fear-provoking twist into the story for Evelyn: her greatest joy, the fact that she and Lee are expecting another child, has come at a moment of peak endangerment.

Diving into Evelyn’s unusual circumstances, Blunt knew she would be roiling with split emotions over her impending labor. “Of course, she and Lee are thrilled … but their excitement is tempered by a deep fear. There are so many unanswered questions: How are we going to survive with a baby? How can you even give birth without making sound? What happens when the baby cries? They try to take every precaution they can think of by creating the soundproof safe room and finding creative ways to keep the baby quiet. But they also know they’re leaping into the great unknown.”

It was also a leap into the great unknown for Blunt and Krasinski, taking on these roles having never worked together professionally before. Both found that it only strengthened their bond. “I felt so valued by John creatively,” sums up Blunt. “I’ve always felt valued as his wife and mother of his kids, but this was about discovering that we could be on the same creative page. We were definitely nervous about it and it was a bit scary, but it turned out to be amazing.”

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A Quiet Place is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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